Jack Frost

Despite a bit of snow, Jack Ross has been preparing his team for the trip to Scunthorpe as he would normally. Let’s face it he’s Scottish and probably thinks it’s quite warm down here! Like every recent press conference, Ross was asked to give an update on Josh Maja. “I know I’ve been quite stoic in saying that I’ve just continued as is. Like everybody, I would rather know with clarity how the situation is and how it will unfold because I think that’s a benefit, not just to me selfishly as a manager, but to everybody at the club. So, it has dragged on a little bit and I do think that we really need to see a solution one way or another. Certainly, in terms of speculation, that’s exactly what it is. There’s been absolutely no concrete offer or interest that we’ve been made aware of from other clubs. Now, that’s not to say there isn’t and that’s not to say that that’s not been communicated to Josh via other parties because that happens in the game as well. But certainly, from our point as a club, we’ve had no communication from other clubs. If he did go, then naturally we’d have to find a replacement at a time when we’re trying to strengthen in that area. (If he did go and we loaned him back until the end of the season) I’ve had a similar situation not that long ago with a young player called Lewis Morgan who signed for Celtic in January and was loaned back to St Mirren at the time and it was a perfect scenario for me at that juncture. So, it’s something because of Josh’s agent perhaps how any purchasing club that view him, that could be an option for us. But that’s all it is, it’s nothing that has been even discussed more than as a potential scenario just simply because there’s been no concrete interest or discussion from other clubs, as I mentioned. If Josh remains at the club, then we still want to bring another forward in. If Josh goes, then obviously that becomes two because we need to have enough attacking options. By attacking options, I mean natural or out and out strikers because we’ve played the whole season with Josh as one and Charlie coming back fit. A lot of our other attacking players, you can make an argument for them being half wide players and half number tens, whatever it might be, not out and out strikers. So, that remains a priority for us.”

The gaffer then gave a fitness update ahead of Scunthorpe: “Lee obviously returns from suspension, Duncan still hasn’t trained as of yet, but hopefully he’ll be back with the main group tomorrow, obviously it was a fairly minor injury anyway. George remains out for Saturday’s match, which is obviously a blow for us and Josh returns from illness as well. So, those that were big players, if you like, that were missing last weekend with the exception of George, will be back available for this weekend. I’ve been incredibly consistent with my opinion of George through the course of the whole season, that’s why he was given the captaincy as a young man. But sometimes this happens with football, you don’t realise what somebody gives you or some people don’t realise what somebody gives, until they’re not there and maybe George fits into that category. His contribution this season has been great, so we have missed him. Lee again, like George, has had a really positive season. Naturally, when he had that spell of scoring goals it all of a sudden catapulted him back into the headlines. But his overall contribution both on and off the pitch, so both on a match day and in and around training every single day and the way that Lee trains each and every day is a huge help to me. So, having him back into the squad. Even his presence in the changing room, so taking George and Lee because George has captained the team, he is the club captain, but in George’s absence, when Lee’s been available, he’s captained the side. So, we’ve taken out, even within the changing room on a match day, two influential figures in terms of how they move around the group and how they are on a match day. So, having Lee back in among the group this weekend is a bonus.”

We’ll also be boosted by Chris Maguire’s successful appeal to the red card he received against Luton: “His reaction after the game, his first comment to me that was he absolutely didn’t do anything wrong. Now, a lot of players tell you that, but I think I said that immediately post-match and having watched it, it wasn’t what it was deemed to be by the officials. So, relief and pleased for us and that’s one of the benefits of having Fulwell 73 and Netflix around, you get different camera angles. So, I’ll throw that in as a positive.”